Aureliānus in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities

Lucius Domitius. A Roman emperor (A.D. 270-275), distinguished for his military abilities and severity of character, was the son of a peasant, born about A.D. 212 in the territory of Sirmium in Illyria. His father occupied a small farm, the property of Aurelius, a rich senator. The son enlisted in the troops as a common soldier, successively rose to the rank of centurion, tribune, prefect of a legion, inspector of the camp, general, or, as it was then called, duke of a frontier; and at length, during the Gothic War, exercised the important office of commanderin-chief of the cavalry. In every station he distinguished himself by matchless valour, rigid discipline, and successful leadership. Theoclius affirms that in one day he killed forty-eight Sarmatians, and in several subsequent engagements nine hundred and fifty. This heroic valour was admired by the soldiers, and celebrated in their rude songs, the burden of which was "Mille, mille, mille, mille, mille, mille, occidit." At length Valerian II. raised him to the consulship, and his good fortune was further favoured by a wealthy and noble marriage. His next elevation was to the throne, Claudius II., on his death- bed, having recommended Aurelian to the troops of Illyricum. The reign of this monarch lasted only four years and about nine months; but every instant of that short period was filled by some memorable achievement. He put an end to the Gothic War, chastised the Germans who invaded Italy, recovered Gaul, Spain, and Britain out of the hands of Tetricus, and destroyed the proud monarchy which Zenobia (q.v.) had erected in the East on the ruins of the afflicted Empire. Owing to the ungenerous excuse of the queen that she had waged war by the advice of her ministers, her secretary, the celebrated Longinus (q.v.), was put to death by the victor; but, after having graced his triumphal entry into Rome, Zenobia herself was presented with a villa near Tibur, and allowed to spend the remainder of her days as a Roman matron. On his return to Rome, he surrounded the city with a new line of walls. He abandoned Dacia, which had been first conquered by Trajan, and made the southern bank of the Danube, as in the time of Augustus, the boundary of the Empire. He was killed by some of his officers while preparing to march against the Persians.

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